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December 28, 2012

Always Remember to Read




I often joke that Maile has more books than toys, but the thing is ... it's not a joke. Maile has more books than toys. Books, books, everywhere, books. In corners, in drawers, on and under tables. In cabinets, on chairs, in the bed, in the bath. Maile loves to read. And though she can only recognize a few letters, and can't truly read yet, we always, always encourage books. Reading makes up a large part of our day, whether it's Maile chatting away and turning pages, or Mama or Dada reading one of her zillions of books to her. Reading is so very important to us.

After reading about Andrew Lapham Fersch's poetry over at Yellow Finch, I was over the moon when Andrew contacted me, wondering if we'd like a copy of his collection, The Rough Draft of My Life Story. Growing up, my parents read me poetry, from Milne to Whitman. In this digital age, poetry, like handwriting, is fast becoming a lost art, and I can't tell you how much we're enjoying Andrew's poems. The book's unique illustrations are the work of the talented Phillip Ashworth. In an email, Andrew encouraged me to let Maile color in the book's pages; I can't tell you how much this touched me -- only an author/illustrator team with Barrie-esque imagination and whimsy could wish their work clumsily embellished by a toddler.



So maybe I haven't let Maile color in the pages just yet, but we are taking in every clever word.

One of my favorites goes like this ...

Two Peas in a Pod

We were so close
We turned into two peas in a pod
Considering yesterday we were people
That does seem quite odd
Now we roll around town
And have so much fun
And return to our pod together
When we are done




Andrew has also embarked on this amazing project: If you send him an illustrated poem, he will send you a personalized poem in return, free of charge. All it takes on your end, is a little time ... Write and draw yourself. Even better, encourage your littles to write and draw! Perhaps pen a poem inspired by your child's artwork. The possibilities are really endless, and what an amazing keepsake!

You can send your illustrated poetry to:

Andrew Fersch
PO Box 738 
Epping NH 03042-0738

Happy creating. And happy reading.

While we were sent a free copy of The Rough Draft of My Life Story, this post was not required of me, and is not a sponsored post. The author asked for nothing in return; his only request was that if I enjoyed his work, I pass it on in some way. Additionally, Andrew is currently in collaboration with artist Penn Sultan, for his second work -- a story called There is a Field. Please consider contributing to that project!

44 comments:

  1. That's fantastic! And I have to giggle, the large difference between boys and girls. We have TONS of books, try to read to Caleb all the time but a page or two in, and that's it! I love seeing all the pics with Maile because you're right, you can usually spy a book in the background ;-) Great job mommy!

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    1. Haha! Well, as they say, boys will be boys. :) Thanks, girl!

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  2. One of the more interesting things I've held onto from my graduate coursework is that it doesn't just help kids to be read to by their parents, but it also helps them just to see their parents reading for fun. Apparently studies have shown that instituting family reading time or bringing Drop Everything and Read home helps to encourage a lifelong relationship with and love for books. I think it's great that Maile already has such a great relationship with books and "reading."

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Trista. I think that is a very insightful piece of information ... It makes me wonder how much my Kindle makes a difference, actually. I started reading primarily on it, because it's so easy to do while nursing, but I have a feeling -- if they did a study -- I would make more of an impact on Maile with an actual book! Food for thought.

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    2. As far as I recall, as long as the parent is reading and enjoying it, it has a positive impact. Since Maile won't know a world without ereaders (crazy!), she will know you're reading, just in a different way.

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  3. I should ask you about your "storage and organization" solutions - Gabriel is in the same book vs. toy boat and I am feeling a little bit overrun! Piles of books everywhere can be a decor scheme, right?? To echo Trista, I read something along the same lines and as such, I've made it a priority for Gabriel to see me reading books while he's doing his own one-year-old thing. We'll also have the occasional "quiet time" in on the bed together - me with my book, and him with his book (and car and ball and dog). I haven't found the right way to read chapter books aloud to him just yet, but we're working on it. (I thought while nursing and/or nodding off would work, but I think it keeps him awake and distracted.)

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    1. Ha! What storage and organization solutions? I'm going to steal your line and say that piles of books are part of our decor scheme. :)

      I really love the idea of quiet time with books; I'm going to have to try that with Maile.

      My blogging friend Kristin did a cute little post about board books (it was actually how I found her blog), and they keep "book baskets" at their house. It's an idea! Here's the post: http://theklinecrew.blogspot.com/2012/09/our-top-5-favorite-board-books-over-here.html

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  4. I absolutely love this. I know I'm not the most perfect Mom, and I probably make a lot of parenting mistakes, but one thing that I pride myself on, is always reading to Jeremy. I remember hating reading growing up, and I want to make sure Jeremy loves it. Every night before bed we read about 5 books, and sometimes we read 1 book 5 times. Lol. Jeremy picks the books, and I read them to him, and I make sure I do it EVERY night. So I really connected with this post. Beautiful.
    That author is so inspiring. Jeremy and I will need to send him a poem that we've created. Such a precious gift.
    Love this post :)

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    1. I love your honesty here, Jordan, because Tim also hated reading, growing up. And he has the same desire to make sure Maile loves to read.

      I hope you do send Andrew a poem! I'd love to see what both of you come up with! And I'm sure your illustration will be gorgeous.

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  5. I love this! I love Shel Silverstein, maybe a little too much, but I'm sad that I have almost all of his work (well not really I love them and read them all the time)...maybe time to start collecting a new poet! Si and I will be working on our poem today!

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    1. Yes! I hesitated to compare Andrew to Shel Silverstein, because he is his own poet, after all ... but I'll say that if you love Shel, you will love Andrew, too!

      Hooray! I'm so excited that you're going to send in a poem. I thought this might be something you'd love to do.

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  6. Reading teaches our SOLE!
    Beautiful post.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    Simple. Calm. Quiet. Enlightening!
    READING!

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    1. Absolutely, Sandra! I love how poetic your comment is, too!

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  7. When I was a teacher, it meant so much to me to instill a love of reading in my students. I would always tell parents at our beginning of the year conferences that I would feel I had accomplished my goal if their child left my class loving books, and the majority of the time they did! Now it is truly incredible for me to see my little man gathering books from his room and bringing them to me, grunting to tell me, "Please read, Mama". What a great post and a beautiful gift!

    P.S. I found your blog through your comment. I love your writing and your photography. Your little one is beautiful, too!

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    1. I think that is such an admirable goal to have as a teacher. Though I never formally taught, I worked as a tutor for a literacy nonprofit, and seeing the change in "my kids" from beginning to end of the school year was something amazing!

      PS - Thank you so much for your sweet compliments! Your blog title and tag line hooked me ... Obviously, I'm a wordy mama too! ;) I hope you'll stop by our little corner of the web again soon!

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  8. How sweet! I love that she loves to read. Funny you mentioned about not embarking on letting her color the pictures yet... When I was little my mom told me it was reading time, so i'd grab a black and white book with pictures and some crayons and go to town. So much for reading ;) Never was a fan of it! But always loved being read to! What a great idea for the author to have people send in their own poems and illustrations.

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    1. She loves to color! I think with this particular book, I'll wait, and let her color in it when she's a little older. :)

      Your little anecdote about reading is hilarious! That's adorable. It seems you were meant to go into design!

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  9. What a great blog, Katie! I'm happy that I have discovered it :). And I agree with you - it's so important to be surrounded by books and read, read and read. I can imagine your little girl like a bookworm when she gets older :).
    I'm your new follower :).

    xx
    http://gita-oddsandends.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks so much, Gita, for becoming my newest follower!

      I've always been a bookworm, myself, so I hope that Maile will be, too.

      Looking forward to getting to know you! :)

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  10. Your little girl is adorable! That little ponytail//// how cute!

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    1. Thank you so much, Danielle! ... appreciate you stopping by. :)

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  11. lovely blog.
    http://xtheperfectmess.blogspot.com.au

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  12. this is incredible! i have already starting collecting books for my future children. i just bought one yesterday! thanks for sharing.

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    1. Sure! Thanks so much for stopping by, Harley!

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  13. Heey, you have a lovely blog! Would you like to follow each other? :)

    Happy New Year btw!

    xx BBella
    justyled.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Bella! Thank you for your sweet compliment. I will be sure to stop by your blog!

      Happy New Year!

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  14. Hi!! I love books! Must look into this poet! Have a good day!

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    1. Hi Shelley! Thanks so much for stopping by our little piece of the web.

      At this time, Andrew's book is available to buy directly through his site, or in Kindle format through Amazon. Just click the hyperlink in the post to be direct to Andrew's site! I hope you do get a copy -- it's fantastic!

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  15. I never was a really big reader growing up. I didn't have books laying around, I actually didn't have many books at all. Oh, but now that I have my own child, I love buying books! I still don't read a lot on my own time, but I do want to instill the love of reading in my daughter. She has a lot of books also, so I will definitely look for this book...poetry is the best!

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    1. Hey Nelly! Thanks a-million for becoming our newest follower; it is so appreciated! :)

      Your experience sounds much like my hubby's. He never was much of a reader. Still isn't, in fact (I believe the last book he read was "The Hobbit", a little over a year ago ...), but he loves to read to Maile, and he loves that she loves books.

      As you say here, to instill the love of reading in our children is one of the most amazing gifts we can give them!

      Looking forward to getting to know you!

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  16. I find this so adorable and I want my kids to be just like this! I think I was that kid and I hope I can pass this trait down to mine.

    She is so cute, keep up the encouragement :)

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    1. Absolutely, Elsha! Thank you.

      Happy New Year!

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  17. What a cool idea and how sweet of him to reach out to you! It's so important to get your kids excited about reading at a young age! Good on ya!! New fan and follower here! So happy to have found you and your cute family!

    xx
    
Holly Foxen Wells

    GlamourMash

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Holly. Thank you so much for becoming our newest follower! I'm looking forward to getting to know you. :)

      Happy New Year!

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  18. Hey Katie!! Just wanted to let you know that I have used the Jesus Calling app everyday since I got it. This isn't like me as I am a completely forgetful and inconsistent person. But the app is great for inspiration on a good day or a not so good one... It also exposes my to scripture daily which, I admit, I should do more on my own.. So, it is a little pick me up along with daily reading and I love it.

    Stop by anytime and if you get the app I'd love to know what you think!

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    1. Thank you so much, Shelley! I think I might have to download it, myself. :) I fully admit that I need more scripture in my daily life, too, so maybe this would be a good stepping stone!

      Happy New Year! And thanks for following!

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    1. Thank you two so much for stopping by; I hope to see you around Standpipe and Sprinkles again!

      Happy New Year!

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  20. You are such a wonderful mama, Katie.

    I remember my parents reading me the Shel Silverstein poems growing up...I had several of them memorized because I heard them so regularly.
    Poetry is so wonderful for kids (for a number of reasons) so I applaud you for introducing that to Maile at such a young age (they truly are never to young!)
    You've encouraged me to start reading poetry to James. <3

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    1. As are you, my friend!

      My mom mostly read us the poems of A.A. Milne (author of Winnie the Pooh, I'm sure you know) ... and I still know some of them by heart. :)

      Our little ones are so busy at this age, something I like to do is, even if Maile is playing, I'll read out loud to her. It's relaxing for me, and she enjoys it, too!

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  21. I love that she loves reading books! And her and her little ponytail are just perfect!!
    xo TJ

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet TJ!

      Happy New Year!

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  22. eek!!! we love books here too! and poetry... ahh... my favorite books growing up were shel silverstien, e.e. cummings.. ahhh... i hope he is still doing the illustrations and poems.. i have to go find his book ASAP! :)

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